After reviewing this data, the trial's independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board called off the trial in March 2012.
"Despite prior experimental and observational data suggesting that varespladib would have beneficial cardiovascular effects, this trial proves the contrary, that it is actually detrimental to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality," said VISTA-16 executive committee chair Stephen J. Nicholls, M.D., Ph.D., senior consultant to Cleveland Clinic's C5Research and Professor of Cardiology and Deputy Director at the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide, Australia.
"The drug cannot be used to prevent cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome," he said.
The researchers do not know whether the outcome of the VISTA-16 trial is attributable to the varespladib molecule itself, or the across-the-board inhibition of sPLA2, which is known to have both protective and inflammatory affects on the cardiovascular system.
"We know that vascular inflammation plays a significant role in the development of coronary disease, and it's important for the scientific community to continue to pursue drugs that may ease the inflammatory process and reduce cardiovascular risk," said Steven Nissen, M.D., senior author on the JAMA paper and Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic. "Unfortunately, the complexity of the inflammatory process continues to confound our efforts at taming it."
VISTA-16 was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial designed to enroll more than 5,000 patients at 362 academic and community hospitals in Australia, Europe, India, New Zealand, and North America. It was an academically directed trial developed by an independent executive steering committee with input from the sponsor, Anthera Pharmaceuticals, and monitored by
|Contact: Wyatt DuBois|